Name: Bahram Parvinian

Defense Date: July 7th, 2022 at 10am

Location: Glenn L. Martin Hall, EGR-2162

Committee Members:

Professor Jin-Oh Hahn, Advisor/Chair

Professor Yang Tao, Dean’s Representative

Professor Balakumar Balachandran

Professor Yancy Diaz-Mercado

Professor Monifa Vaughn-Cooke

Professor Pras Pathmanathan



Physiological closed-loop controllers and decision support systems are medical devices that enable some degree of automation to meet the needs of patients in resource-limited environments such as critical care and surgical units. Traditional methods of safety and effectiveness evidence generation such as pre-clinical animal and human clinical studies are cost prohibitive and may not fully capture different performance attributes of such complex safety-critical systems primarily due to subject variability. In silico studies using subject-specific physiological models (SSPMs) may provide a versatile platform to generate pre-clinical and clinical safety evidence for medical devices and help reduce the size and scope of animal studies and/or clinical trials. To achieve such a goal, the credibility of the SSPMs must be established for the purpose it is intended to serve. While in the past decades significant research has been dedicated towards development of tools and methods for development and evaluation of SSPMs, adoption of such models remains limited, partly due to lack of trust in SSPMs for safety-critical applications. This may be due to a lack of a cohesive and disciplined credibility assessment framework for SSPMs.

In this dissertation a novel framework is proposed for credibility assessment of SSPMs. The framework combines various credibility activities in a unified manner to avoid or reduce resource intensive steps, effectively identify model or data limitations, provide direction as to how to address potential model weaknesses, and provide much needed transparency in the model evaluation process to the decision-makers. To identify various credibility activities, the framework is informed by an extensive literature review of more mature modeling spaces focusing on non-SSPMs as well as a literature review identifying gaps in the published work related to SSPMs. The utility of the proposed framework is successfully demonstrated by its application towards credibility assessment of a CO2 ventilatory gas exchange model intended to predict physiological parameters, and a blood volume kinetic model intended to predict changes in blood volume in response to fluid resuscitation and hemorrhage. The proposed framework facilitates development of more reliable SSPMs and will result in increased adoption of such models to be used for evaluation of safety-critical medical devices such as Clinical Decision Support (CDS) and Physiological Closed-Loop Controlled (PCLC) systems.